Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced Australia will provide a further $5 million to meet humanitarian needs in Syria and neighbouring countries.
The humanitarian assistance includes $3 million for food assistance through the World Food Program and $2 million for the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
"Amidst the ongoing violence, Australia will continue to help alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people," Senator Carr said.
Senator Carr also said the Australian Government will implement further sanctions against the Syrian regime, in line with our international partners, if President Assad refuses to change course.
Senator Carr made these comments after meeting today with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon.
"Australia already imposes sanctions against members of the Syrian regime involved in violence and repression.
"Australia's autonomous sanctions regime currently imposes travel and financial restrictions against 106 individuals and 28 entities. But we stand ready to do more.
"Australia also supports efforts to collect evidence about serious crimes occurring in Syria, so that those responsible for such crimes can be held accountable.
"The Australian Government is deeply disturbed by continuing reports of violence in Syria.
"The Australian Government strongly supports the work of the Joint Special Envoy of the UN and Arab League, Kofi Annan, and the call by the UN Security Council for the urgent, comprehensive and immediate implementation of Mr Annan's proposals to end the crisis.
"I discussed Syria on Tuesday afternoon with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and via telephone with British Foreign Secretary William Hague.
"I will have opportunities for further discussions on Syria in New York this week, including with Ambassadors from the region.
"I commend the Secretary-General for the international leadership he has demonstrated in responding to the situation in Syria.
"The work of regional players, including the Arab League and Turkey, has also been vital.
"It is now imperative the Syrian Government implement its commitments to Mr Annan so that a cease-fire can be established, overseen by an effective monitoring mechanism," Senator Carr said.
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